Pym rules himself out of A&L top job

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The Independent Online
RICHARD PYM, group finance director at Alliance & Leicester, has counted himself out of consideration for the post of A&L chief executive, up for grabs following Peter White's acrimonious dismissal late last month.

Mr White is threatening to sue the former building society unless it concedes that the manner of his departure, after eight years in the top job, was wrong. Friends of Mr White are said to have singled out Mr Pym as a prime mover behind his sacking.

A&L said yesterday that the company was continuing its search for a chief executive, and that Mr Pym "has said he does not want to considered". No reason was given.

A&L is drawing up its response to a letter from Mr White claiming his dismissal was unfair. Talks are under way between Simmons & Simmons, Mr White's lawyers, and A&L's legal representatives.

Detailed claims about the case have surfaced in press reports, including a suggestion that Mr White was offered a pay-off and a job as a consultant the week before he was ousted.

At the time A&L said Mr White's dismissal followed "a divergence of views within the board over the management of the group". It is understood that Mr White had made an approach to Lloyds TSB about a possible merger independent of the board, while John Windeler, the A&L chairman, had been approached by Woolwich for talks over a merger.

Mr Windeler, temporary chief executive, said the company needed a "new, more consensual style of leadership". Mr White was known for his forthright style of corporate management.

A&L shares ended 13.5p lower yesterday at 896.5p.

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